OSLO, NORWAY: DNB Bank is experiencing increased customer activity and optimism in step with the reopening of the Norwegian economy.
The profit for the second quarter of 2021 was NOK 6 432 million, an increase of NOK 548 million from the first quarter of this year.
After a very good first quarter, DNB’s financial performance has been further strengthened in the second quarter, supported by higher growth as a result of the reopening of the Norwegian economy and solid liquidity in most households.
“Even though we haven’t put the pandemic completely behind us yet, a sense of optimism has definitely returned to the Norwegian business community and Norwegian households. We’re seeing growth in all parts of the bank, and I can’t remember a quarter with comparably high customer activity across the entire spectrum of the services we offer. I’m pleased that our customers are choosing DNB to an even greater extent than before, now that we’re preparing ourselves for more normal times,” says CEO Kjerstin Braathen.
Growth in all parts of the bank:
Throughout the quarter, DNB has experienced profitable growth on loans of 1.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent in the personal customer market and corporate customer market, respectively – in line with the plan for annual growth of around 3-4 per cent.
Deposit growth for the quarter was 4.1 per cent, while net interest income was at the same level as in the corresponding quarter in 2020.
DNB experienced growth in all customer segments and areas of the bank, and customer activity was particularly high in the areas of capital raising and initial public offerings (IPOs), as well as across the entire spectrum from long -term saving and asset management, to real estate and insurance. Income from customer-driven activities (commission and fee income) was record high, with an increase of NOK 486 million, or 20.3 per cent, compared with the corresponding period last year, and 9.6 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2021.
Norwegians’ high level of saving and investing was maintained, even though consumption has increased along with the reopening of society.
In the second quarter, DNB presented its revised sustainable strategy. The strategy states that DNB will be a driving force for sustainable transition, for instance by financing, facilitating, and investing in sustainable activities worth NOK 1 500 billion by 2030, and by increasing total assets in mutual funds with a sustainability profile to NOK 100 billion by 2025.
During the course of last year, we saw a clear shift in mood, with many people looking for sustainable products and seeking to make sustainable investments. In May, DNB launched the index fund DNB Klima Indeks, a mutual fund that, to the best of our knowledge, is the very first in Norway to be fully aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The fund reached NOK 1 billion in total assets just a few weeks after its launch in May.
“The very strong reception DNB Klima Indeks has received provides additional motivation to further develop our range of sustainable and green products, in other parts of the personal customer and corporate customer markets, as well. Our customers will notice that sustainable transition is an issue that we’ll spend more time on in our customer dialogue in the time ahead,” says Kjerstin Braathen.
Strong position for paying out dividends:
The bank maintained a very strong financial position throughout the quarter, with a common equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio of 19.1 per cent. Return on equity (ROE) was 11.1 per cent for the quarter, and is the result of high activity and growth in all areas of the bank, as well as net reversals of impairment provisions. Earnings per share (EPS) were NOK 4.01 in the quarter, which is an increase of 31 per cent from the corresponding quarter last year.
The bank is in a strong position to pay out dividends, and the Board of Directors has been authorised by the General Meeting to pay out up to NOK 9 per share for the year 2020, after 30 September this year.
During the quarter, DNB also received acceptance for its offer to acquire Sbanken, and the Ministry of Finance approved the acquisition. The approval of the Norwegian Competition Authority remains, and the decision is expected during the third quarter.